Revising Leah

November 22, 2008

Waiting . . . waiting . . . (Progress Report #12)

Filed under: Uncategorized — J.M. Reep @ 1:07 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

After reading chapters at random for a couple weeks, I’ve been doing one more read-through of the whole novel. It will be the last read-through that I do until I receive the galley proof copy in January because what I’ve discovered as I’ve been reading through the story is that there really isn’t any more work for me to do. Sure, I make a few nit-picky changes and corrections in each chapter, but I’m not making any substantive changes. Essentially, the novel is finished.

There’s very little for me to do right now except wait until January. Why January? That’s when I want to start the publication process. In theory, I could log into Lulu in December and start it then, but I want the new edition of Leah to be published in 2009, so that’s why I’m waiting.

As I mentioned in another post, I’m way ahead of schedule, and that’s a problem, because I don’t know how I’m going to fill the time between the end of this month and the start of the new year. Since next week is Thanksgiving week — and since the final third of my novel is set during Thanksgiving week — I think what I’ll do is read the chapters set during that week on the appropriate days, starting with the second half of chapter 15 on November 23 (tomorrow) and concluding with the final chapter of the novel on November 30 December 1. In fact, it just occurred to me that the dates for November in 2008 correspond perfectly to the dates for November in the novel. That’s a pretty cool coincidence, and it should be a fun experience to read the story on the appropriate days. (Actually, this year’s schedule is one day earlier than the schedule in the novel.)

I also have a lot of time to work on the cover of the novel. I think I’ve made a decision about the design of the back cover, but I’m still having trouble writing the blurb. Blurbs are very tricky things to write. I have to do so much in such a small amount of space: the blurb must offer a summary of the novel that tells the reader what the story is about without giving too much away, and at the same time the summary must be compelling enough that it encourages someone to read the book. It’s really difficult to get it just right.

But the real problem is what should I do with this blog while I wait? The purpose of this blog has always been to serve as a sort of diary of my revision process. If I’m not working on my novel, then what do I have to write about? I could put this blog on hiatus until January (when I intend to document the publication process for folks who are interested in learning what is involved in self-publishing a novel — it can be a bit of a labyrinthine process). I’d rather not put this blog on hold, since I feel like I’d be losing momentum so close to publication, but I may not have any choice.



  1. I find it’s really hard to write blurbs, too. I was trying to do some to put into my blog on my projects page, and wow. It’s a lot harder than it looks! Some books just don’t seem very interesting when you have to condense them, especially when you’re struggling not to give away some of the most important parts.

    If you’re lost for topics, you could… talk about future projects, talk about where you hope Leah will go, where it will take you, where it will take others, what your plan of attack for publication will be, why you want Leah to be done in January, how you’re going about building your blurb, etc… I think there’s lots of topics, if you were really interested.

    Also, I’d be fascinated to read about what goes into self-publishing Leah. :)

    Comment by chibidoucet — November 23, 2008 @ 4:58 am

  2. Another danger with blurbs is that they can sound cheesy or pretentious if the writer isn’t careful. Sure, one wants to attract readers, but one doesn’t want to go overboard and make it sound like the book is the greatest thing ever written.

    As for December, I’m not really at a loss for topics, but I’ll be at a loss for topics that are appropriate for this blog. I try to keep my posts here limited to Leah and to the revising process, and I try to avoid getting off topic. For example, I sometimes mention my other novel The Spring, but I resist the urge to write too much about it, because it’s outside the scope of the purpose of this blog. I know a lot of authors of other writing blogs like to write about what’s going on in their personal lives as well as what they’re writing about (and if that’s what the blog writer wants to do in his or her blog, that’s fine), but I like the idea of setting rules for myself in this blog and the most important rule is that I keep my focus on how I’m revising Leah.

    Next year, when Leah is finished, I’ll be starting a new blog that deals with my next writing project. I’ve already claimed a WordPress domain for the blog, and I’m looking for the right theme. I won’t be posting to that blog, though, until Leah is finished and published.

    Comment by jmreep — November 23, 2008 @ 11:44 am

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